Believe it or not, we are already well into the Halloween season.

The stores are bustling with things that go bump into the cart — like the monkey skeleton at Target and the skeleton chef holding a silver platter with a skeleton fish on it at World Market that fell into mine.

Don’t ask me how these will fit into the Halloween decorating scheme at my house but somehow it will all make sense with the giant painted clay eyeball I also picked up at Home Depot.

Most of our local haunted houses have either already opened the doors to their creepy vaults or will do so this weekend.

I got my first quick jolt of Halloween spookiness last weekend with a trip to Cedar Point’s HalloWeekends.

I headed out on a Saturday afternoon and saw the scariest sight I have ever seen at the park … a full parking lot.

I think I parked in Vermilion. That might be an exaggeration, but not by much as I was in the last row just a few cars away from Cedar Point Road.

And the best part of parking so far away from the entrance was my nighttime trip back to pick up a sweatshirt for our youngest, except I couldn't find the car.

I spent the equivalent of the wait for the Maverick ride searching every row looking for our Ford Explorer only to look at the keys in my hand to realize we brought the Prius.

I was so woozy from the walk I forgot to grab the sweatshirt.

It was nice to see the park lively for such a dead occasion.

New this year is the Trail of the Forsaken, where characters and a ton of fog and spooky lights take over the path through the park’s FrontierTown.

The Hexed Haunted House has gone dark this year so guests have to find their way through the witches by flashlight.

The Midnight Syndicate is back with a new show billed as “five times” scarier than last year’s production and continues the same creepy storyline.

Once again the park’s Jack Alderich Theater is transformed into a spooky place that is an odd magnet for the undead.

Fun fact: The grim musicians from Chardon filmed some of the scenes at Akron’s Haunted Schoolhouse and Laboratory.

Just outside the theater along the park’s midway is my favorite HalloWeekends attraction.

There is a cemetery with grave markers for long-gone attractions and shows. And every year, there’s a new one to visit.

Fittingly, at least for Halloween, the newest member of the dead ride club is the Witches Wheel.

This newly removed spinning contraption looked like a giant wheel that spun its riders eventually upside down by the Magnum XL-200 roller coaster.

I haven’t had the stomach to ride it in years, but I certainly gave it a spin many times in my youth.

I always spend a lot of time — much to the chagrin of my kids — at the cemetery reminiscing.

Perhaps next year, the park will add a monument for lost cars in the parking lot like our Prius — not that I would find it.

HalloWeekends runs Friday nights and Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 28. For more, visit cedarpoint.com.

 

Craig Webb can be reached at cwebb@thebeaconjournal.com or 330-996-3547.